Thursday, April 27, 2006

Creative Juices are Flowing

Yes, I actually cast on for a new project last night. Mother's Day is coming up, and while my gifts for my mom are good to go, I didn't have anything yet for my grandmother. So, based on recommendations from Tuesday SnB (thanks Theresa!), I cast on for Tie One On, with some yummy mohair that I found on ages ago (K1C2 Mousse in a dark & moody black, blue & indigo colorway). I'm doing the mellow green version, so it's all garter stitch -- hopefully I can get it done in time to send it off before May 14 and I don't have to remember where I am in a stitch pattern. I'm using size 13 needles, although since I knit combination style, it's really tight, so it's more the equivalent of size 11s. It's going quickly, so I'm optimistic.

I think I was in a good mood last night because a) Richard comes home late tonight, and b) I had a doctor's appointment last night where I didn't get chastized about my weight or my poor intake of water! Hurrah! Everything seemed normal, which is good. I had to give blood, which is always a pain as I have really narrow veins, but it's for an AFP test, which screens for neural tube defects, Down's syndrome, etc. A bit scary, but I'm trying not to think about it. But on the positive side, next Wednesday, I get to schedule my level 2 ultrasound to find out (among other things) Figgy's gender! So sometime next month, we will know whether it's Fignacio or Figoberta. It's exciting and overwhelming at the same time, as most of this pregnancy has been.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

What's making Sara puke today?

Well, this morning it was a combination of my cat's dried herring treats and dirty dishes in the sink. Now, since Figgy has taken up residence in my abdomen, Richard normally takes the dirty type of chores (i.e., most of them), but he is in Las Vegas right now for a trade show. So feeding the cats, taking out the trash, carefully cleaning the cat box, theoretically doing the dishes, are my duties until Thursday night when Rich gets back. I learned on Sunday that opening a can of wet cat food (which Deano needs regularly because he has a tendency to get constipated) in the morning is a bad idea. I didn't think that cat treats would do it to me, but I opened a new bag (and basically these treats are freeze-dried pieces of fish and a new bag is particularly stinky) and I just couldn't handle it. Blecch.

I have been feeling more rested the past couple of days. I'm trying to get to bed earlier than normal. In bed by 11 p.m., read for 1/2 an hour and going to sleep at 11:30. And imagine this, I got in to work before 9 a.m. (8:45 actually), the first time I've done that for a regular, nonmeeting day in a long, long time.

My elbow is still bothering me a bit from the sanding & ironing I did on Sunday. I hope it goes away soon because otherwise, it might interfere with knitting & crocheting. As for the power tool goodness, yes, they are worked with outside. We have a garage and a driveway with the new place, so the garage has become the home of the table saw, the power drill, the sawdust, etc.

K8 asked whether we are going to find out Figgy's gender. Answer: hell yes. I know that some people feel that the gender of your child is one of the few real surprises left in this world, so they leave it until the birth. But I feel like it's a surprise whenever you find out, so why add to the suspense?

I don't have a preference in terms of boy or girl -- they both seem pretty scary to me at this point. Girls are obviously more familiar to me (two younger sisters), and girls seem to be easier when they are younger, but you have to deal with the sex/pregnancy issue, mean girls, etc. Boys are unfamiliar (older half-brother doesn't count because he is so much older and didn't live with us growing up) and can be scary destructive when they are little and then just plain scary with the teenage rage issues and Columbine alienation. I know I'm focusing on the bad bits, but it's all overwhelming. Sometime within the next month or so, we will find out Figgy's gender, and it's just one more step to making this all real. Scary.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Power tools and babies?

Boy, I've been really sporadic around here, haven't I? I actually have been really busy in a crafty, if not yarn-affiliated, way. Last weekend, we invested in some quality power tools. I am now the proud owner of my very own table saw:
Why, you ask? Well, I've always had dreams about simple wood projects that I wanted to make. Headboards, benches, bookcases, etc. And now I can do it, without bugging my dad to bring down his tools from San Jose! First up, the storage bench from Handmade Modern, the fab DIY book from Todd Oldham. We cut all the wood last week, and on Sunday, I sanded the pieces and ironed the wood veneer to the visible edges. Yes, I said ironed. Bizarre, I know, but you use your home iron to apply the thin veneer, which is backed with a heat-activated glue. Fun, but my right elbow is screaming right now.

And, I also finished my first crafty item since Figgy's arrival on the scene. Well, started and finished in about an hour, but still, I actually finished a project, which is something to crow about. I strung a necklace Saturday night using large light green quartz beads with tiny pearls, silver beads and little purple stone (which kind i have no idea) disks. Hurrah! Accomplishment!

And a baby update: I just hit 15 weeks on Saturday (how time flies!), so here is the update. No new fruit...
At around 4 inches long, crown to rump, your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 ounces. He's busy inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, which will help develop the air sacs in his lungs. His legs are growing longer than his arms now, and he can move all his joints and limbs. That means his hands are more functional, too. Sweat glands are appearing, and although his eyelids are fused shut, he can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, he's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but his taste buds are beginning to form. And if you have an ultrasound, you may be able to find out whether your baby's a boy or girl! (Don't be disappointed if it remains a mystery, though. Nailing down the gender depends somewhat on how clear the picture is and the position of your baby during the ultrasound; he may be curled or turned in such a way as to keep you in suspense.)

My next appointment is this Wednesday, so while I'm not expecting a find out the gender yet, I am hopeful that I'll be told that I'm managing my sodium well and that Figgy is doing fine. Fingers crossed!

Monday, April 17, 2006

And the winner is...

Um, no one, actually. No one guessed lemon? Well, here is the official 14-week update from

Head to bottom, your baby's 3 1/2 inches long — about the length of a lemon — and weighs about 1 1/2 ounces. Her body's growing faster than her head, which now sits upon a more well-defined neck. By the end of this week, her arms will have lengthened and will be in proportion to the rest of her body. (Her legs still have some growing to do, though.) She's starting to develop an ultra-fine, downy covering of hair all over her body (called lanugo). Her liver starts secreting bile this week, a sign that it's already functioning properly, and her spleen starts contributing to the production of red blood cells. She's also producing and discharging urine into the amniotic fluid, a normal process that she'll keep up until birth. You still can't feel your baby's movements, but her hands and feet (which are now half an inch long) are more flexible and active. Thanks to brain impulses, her little facial muscles are getting a workout as she squints, frowns, and grimaces. She can grasp now, too, and she may be able to suck her thumb.

I am officially in the blessed 2nd trimester now. Thank goodness. Not only for the subsiding of the nausea, but also the chances of miscarriage go way down. So big cheer to Figgy for hanging in there! Only 26 more weeks to go!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Vegetable, Animal or Mineral?

OK, a big gold star goes to the person who guesses how big Figgy is this next week. We've gone from Fig to Lime to Jumbo Shrimp. Any guesses? And no fair cheating.

Monday, April 10, 2006

I Love the 80's Strikes Back!

This is no big surprise:

what decade does your personality live in?

quiz brought to you by lady interference, ltd

from J
enny's blog

Busy as a bee. Bee-like.

This weekend was a flurry of activity, and I'll get into it in a moment, but first, an update: Figgy is now the size of a jumbo shrimp. About 3 inches long, from head to butt (they don't start counting leg length until 20 weeks, but given that this is Rich's & my child, the legs probably wouldn't add much length anyway). I have entered my 13th week, just one away from officially being in the 2nd trimester, and hurrah! the worst of the nausea seems to have subsided. It's still definitely there if I go too long between meals, but otherwise, it's good.

My "bump," and my Irish friend Lynn calls it, is actually getting bigger. It still looks like I'm just not holding my stomach in, but I notice that it is definitely bigger than it was 2 weeks ago.

So, back to a weekend update. Friday was a wash. I was so tired that I decided to go lay down around 8 p.m. Big mistake. I woke up at 12 a.m. and couldn't go back to sleep. I finally went back to bed around 3 a.m., and then the cats kept waking me every other hour. We decided to meet up with our friend Scott at the Bar-B-Q Competition and Festival at the Autry Museum. My judgment: eh. In theory it sounds great, but there was nothing to do. There were only 3 or 4 vendors who were selling to the public. All the other barbeque places were just there for the competition, and not really the public. So we waited in line for an hour for mediocre beef ribs (not my favorite -- pork ribs all the way) and went on to Ikea.

At Ikea, that Swedish land of DIY furniture, we bought a wardrobe for me (one bad thing about this apartment is that the closets are too small) and two bookcases for the living room. We splurged and decided to have them delivered, given that the wardrobe alone weighed about 250 pounds. So $70 to save Richard's back (because you know I wasn't lifting)? Not a bad deal.

Sunday, we had our walk down to Larchmont for the Farmer's Market. I can honestly say now that this walk is my favorite time of the week. It's just me & Richard, on a sunny day, out to buy some fruit and get some exercise. I love it. Came back and Rich went over to a friend's, and I stayed inside as long as I could take it (about 1 1/2 hours), and then I headed out -- where didn't really matter, just not sitting inside on a pretty day. So I went to our local plant nursery. I've been pondering getting some planters for our railing outside and I just wanted to go to see some plants. I didn't buy anything, but it was a nice way to kill an hour or so.

About 5 p.m., the delivery folks from IKEA arrive. I decide to tackle assembling the wardrobe first, since it's in the bedroom and taking up more space in there than the bookcases are in the living room. Almost 3 1/2 hours later, we finally finish. I don't know why I am continually surprised by the poor quality of IKEA craftsmanship. It's IKEA, for gods sake. But packing the wardrobe doors while the wood stain is obviously not yet dry is just wrong! So not only do my doors still have bits of packing paper still stuck to them, two doors were actually STUCK TOGETHER! I had to get a butter knife to pry them apart. Luckily, it didn't hurt them too bad, but it just irks me.

But we finished, and as a treat, Richard picked up Zankou Chicken! I love me some cripsy, roasted chicken with garlic paste and hummus. Apparently though, the sodium content does not love me. My fingers swelled up to little saugsage size, and haven't gone down yet. So no more Zankou for a while. Bummer. Oh well. I have to keep my eyes on the prize. Figgy! (who could now be called Shrimpy, but will not)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Chugging Along

I have to say that I am feeling better, in general. Work is a bit tough, because I still haven't told my boss about Figgy. My review is scheduled for 2 weeks, so I'm trying to wait until after that. Theoretically (and legally), Figgy shouldn't be an issue, but I'm just being cautious. But it is difficult to keep it in.

I'm slowly starting to get my craftiness back. I actually went to Jo-Anns on Sunday and bought yarn for a birthday present that I'm working on for my friend Allison (mom of Baby Maggie, just to differentiate between Allisons!), and I'm actually making progress.

I've been trying to moderate my salt intake, and I think I'm doing a pretty good job. I actually seem to fit better into my clothes than I did a couple of weeks ago, so I'm feeling good.

And exercise seems to be going well, too. Rich & I walked to and from the Larchmont Farmer's Market on Sunday (not that it's a huge distance, but it's more than I would have done a few weeks ago). I took my prenatal yoga class on Monday, which kicked my butt! I've taken yoga before, and this class worked me good. I'm hoping that the rain is finally gone, so maybe Rich & I can go for a walk before dinner. So, we're making progress.

Hopefully, I'll be back to my normal self soon, and even have the will to post some pictures around here!

Sunday, April 02, 2006


Wow, Figgy is real. Not that he/she wasn't before, but he (i'm using the he just because it's easier, not because I know anything regarding gender) is so much more real now. I've seen him. During the ultrasound, mostly he was sleepy. The technician keep poking my belly, trying to get him to move, but mostly he just wanted to sleep (so basically, Figgy has the same grumpy personality of my cat, Deano). But I actually got to see him suck his thumb! I saw his little fingers and everything. No pictures, as apparently Cedars uses a "filmless" system, which is useless for scrapbooks and grandmothers, but I got to see him.

I will say that this pregnancy has made me consider some tough issues. As of Saturday, I just finished my 12th week, which is nearing the end of my 1st trimester (which officially ends after the 13th/14th week - depending on which book you read). And it just makes me think. I am adamantly pro-choice. I have been ever since I was old enough to have an opinion about the matter. And more than 90 percent of abortions take place by the 14th week in pregnancy. And I support that. It's just a strange place to be in. Given my moments of pukeyness, I have a hard time understanding how women can claim to not know that they were pregnant until they gave birth. But I guess that's the power of the mind: if you really don't want to accept something, your mind can convince you of anything.

It's also weird, having seen the ultrasound, and seeing Figgy, with his fingers and toes, and yet knowing that, if I wanted, I could still have an abortion. For anyone who is concerned, I don't, but that's the power of choice. But it's still weird. Do I reconcile the baby that I want, with the fetuses that other women do not? My ultimate conclusion is that Figgy, and other fetuses, are beings, but their rights do not trounce those of the women who are carrying them. I know that babies cost a lot: emotionally and financially. And only people who really want one should have one. So I guess that's how I reconcile my beliefs with the little (now the size of a lime) being inside of me.